Jul 27, 2009

Driving While Distracted by Cell Phone

Has the time come for drivers to give-up cell phones while operating their vehicles? In Michigan, more municipalities and jurisdictions are saying, "maybe". The cell phone lobby, however, says, "not yet", and continues to block state-wide cell phone bans.

Despite the efficiencies achieved by the now-ubiquitous cell phone, Royal Oak, Southfield and other jurisdictions have considered outlawing this form of "multitasking". Many other Oakland County municipalities have enacted "driving while distracted" provisions which enhance the fines assessed when a cell phone factors into a traffic violation.

Many would say, "it's about time." Even the cell phone lobby may be coming around. A recent Sunday New York Times front-page article describes how the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association recently changed its position opposing cell phone bans, to a more "neutral" stance. The Sunday Times article, which summarizes the scientific data compiled about distracted driving, can be found at the following link: http://tinyurl.com/mq6r4x

Although mounting statistics compare cell phone driving to drunk driving, eight states have enacted legislation that prevent municipalities from passing ordinances prohibiting hand-held cell phone use. Other states like California, New York and New Jersey, have banned hand-held devices while driving. Royal Oak and Southfield may be next.

If you have suffered injuries from a driver distracted by a cell phone, or have had a traffic citation enhanced because of it, contact us to discuss your options.


Anonymous said...

Well, i for one will be glad to get distracted cell phone users off the road. I was almost rear-ended by a teenager who was waaaay more interested in her cell conversation that in the rush-hour traffic she was in...

salespro said...

I hope they never outlaw cell phones in cars. I depend on using mine every day as a regional sales manager. On the road every day, I could not survive if I had to give it up for fear of getting ticketed everywhere I go.

urbman said...

No way. Get off your damn cell phone and drive. Its just as bad as drunk driving.

Timothy P. Flynn, Esq. said...

Follow-up: Here are two recent articles on this subject, as Congress begins to take note of this risky behavior.



Timothy P. Flynn, Esq. said...

This subject keeps recirculating. One year after the original post, Michigan has enacted legislation making driving while on a cell phone a primary offense, subject to fines, but no points on your driving record.

Here is an interesting post from personal injury lawyer Michael Morse on the subject: